William Hill arrives in Australia

Update 2019: William Hill has merged its Australian operations with CrownBet to form BetEasy. The William Hill brand is no longer present in the Australian online wagering market. To recap: William Hill bought the Sportingbet business and discontinued the brand, choosing instead to operate as William Hill Australia. After struggling to gain market traction, William Hill Australia was purchased by the Stars Group Inc. in 2018 and rebranded as BetEasy.

Original news story from 2015

Notable bookmaker William Hill has been placing big bets on Australia. The largest bookmaker in the UK recently made waves with the purchase of two of the largest Australian bookmakers, Sportingbet and Tom Waterhouse. In 2013, they began rolling these new bookmakers into their William Hill Australia business, along with long-serving Australian bookmaker Centrebet. Founded in 1943, William Hill is a bookmaker with a legacy. Though they are headquartered in London, they have also opened two offices in Australia and seem to be settling in quite well. What’s more is that they seem to have brought friends.

Global bookies attracted to Australia

William Hill is hardly alone in its newfound interest in the Australian market. They share the stage with other global bookmakers of the UK ilk. Other long standing UK bookmakers, such as Unibet and Ladbrokes, have similarly made acquisitions and expansions in Australia. Ladbrokes, est. 1886, similarly made moves into the Australian market in 2013 with the purchase of a local company. They now operate as Ladbrokes Australia. Unibet was the first to the gate with the purchase of Australian bookmaker Betchoice in 2012. This rather quick influx of global bookmakers has made for some hot competition and has already significantly changed the face of Australian bookmaking.

Competition to intensify

The Australian bookmaking market is likely due for a lot more change to come, as well. These global players have brought their A games, bringing the world class odds, promotions, and free bets to the Australian market. The consolidation of the smaller bookmakers is likely to benefit punters and players throughout Australia, as the competition in the market continues to intensify. Other bookmakers are following this trend through mergers and consolidations, including the purchase of a majority share in new Australian bookmaker BetEasy by the provider Betfair. The big names in bookmaking have only just begun to put their irons in the fire here, so it’s likely that new offerings and expansions are to follow from some of the best known names in the business. Without a doubt, there are a lot of new faces in Australian bookmaking and the landscape is shifting.

William Hill acquires Sportingbet Australia

William Hill may fast be becoming the new face of Australian bookmaking in general. Sportingbet is their most recent acquisition, with Sportingbet.com.au officially becoming a William Hill website as of February, 24, 2015. This is major news for the world of bookmaking Down Under, as Sportingbet was one of the most popular names in the business, operating as one of Australia’s largest bookmakers. The combination of a strong hold on the local market with a storied and worldly brand like William Hill should result in a highly competitive business model. The transfer of ownership shouldn’t affect Sportingbet’s current customers, making for what will hopefully be a seamless integration. The brand will be operated online by the William Hill business, which has its own impressive global following.

Unibet and Ladbrokes may be feeling a bit of a squeeze with the expansion of William Hill’s Australian business, but only time will tell how they respond. They may do so in kind, with further expansion or acquisition. Punters everywhere will also be on the lookout for William Hill to start making further moves here, either by way of new offerings, expansions, or new acquisitions. They have certainly attracted some attention already with their Best Tote Plus 5% offering on all metropolitan horse racing meets in Australia. They also offered promotions on the Australian Open Tennis in January of 2015. All signs coming from the gaming company seem to be pointing toward continued involvement in the Australian bookmaking market and the continuation of the local legacies that its new acquisitions have built over time. Horse racing fans will likely be particularly pleased, as William Hill has earned a reputation for great odds and even better special payout promotions.

Australian punters to benefit from increased competition

Bookmaking is a fast paced industry, with mergers, divestitures, and acquisitions a fair constant. Many of the more well-known names have made a habit of acquiring promising local or regional companies, often with great success. For so many of the larger players in global bookmaking to have taken such a pointed interest in the Australian market must mean that there is great potential for success here. The success of the preexisting providers for the local market points to that. It is exciting to think of what the largest names in the business could mean for the industry. The best news for punters is that the bookmakers seem invested in their new customers. As the takeover of Sportingbet’s online betting hopefully indicates, William Hill plans to make its entrée into the Australian market a seamless and simple one. It’s a smart move to use an Australian favourite as their newest bookmaking partner. This acquisition should do wonders to cement William Hill’s already strong foothold in the Australian bookmaking marketplace.